Monday, May 26, 2008

Chase Log 052408

I'd been watching a cell develop since around 2pm near Enid, OK. Personally, I was hoping that once it got to strength, it would travel NE to us. It didn't.

I called my oldest brother, Jeff, and asked if he wanted to go on an adventure.

We left Wichita and headed to Oklahoma. At the Oklahoma Visitor Center we met a group from Wichita trying to get to the OKC airport. After a little discussion and finding radio with a storm chaser feed, we found out that the storm was moving toward Perry. With the shape of the storm, that meant we had to core punch to get to the tornado.

I hate core punching. It's dangerous, stupid, and leaves you blind, but my brother was hellbent on seeing a twister. Damn it if he wasn't talking about the movie too.

We left and started to hit some rain and very small hail. Although the interception in Perry, OK was happening sooner or later I started slowing down to avoid hydroplaning and damage from the hail once it got a little bigger.

We arrived in Perry and found the tornados.

Two wall clouds positioned themselves close to one another, but were heavily rain wrapped. In other words heavy rain fell in front of the tornados obscuring our vision.

We had a nice stovepipe funnel reach out of the rainshaft and dance around for a while before it dissipated. The chasers closer to the storm said there was a fairly large tornado inside that was rainwrapped. The rain stopped and the wall clouds seemed to die out.

The entire area was cloaked in rain and the Perry Police started getting nervous. They told us we needed to go to shelter or go north on I-35. We went about a mile to the next stop. Another convince store with an overhang and a Subway. My brother had the munchies so he went in, paced around, and said their were about 50 people all trying to get into the women's bathroom for shelter.

We hung out as hail hit the area and then went a little further north to get out of the rain. Before long, the national weather service reported that the storm was dying and had lost rotation. In other words, heavy, heavy, heavy rain.

Jeff and I headed back to Wichita pausing for gasoline.

The final shots are out of Tonkawa, OK. There's a Dairy Queen and a truckstop here, and it seems that this place has a special ability to pull storms to or near it. I've seen about three tornadic situations here.

It scares me to think about what has happened over the last five days. There has been a large loss of life, property, and 172 reports of tornados. This isn't normal.

Be aware and keep your eyes to the sky. Today's probability is overhead in Wichita.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Cool video and pics, Bri. Glad you got safely.